While outgoing state governments across Nigeria are working with their successors for smooth transition, the case of Rivers State has become a rather disheartening story.
The outgoing governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi is travelling from one city to the other shopping for an illegal injunction to stop the inauguration of the governor-elect of the state, overwhelmingly elected by the people. He was at Awka High Court where he failed woefully.
On Monday, May 18, Amaechi convinced the Attorney General of Rivers State to join the Rivers State APC to do the unthinkable. They were at the Federal High Court in Owerri where they filed a suit trying to once again stop the swearing in of the duly elected governor of Rivers State, Barrister Nyesom Wike.
That ill-fated suit failed on Tuesday, May 19 as Justice S.M. Shuaibu of the Federal High Court in Owerri struck it out. He said that the court lacked jurisdiction to stop the inauguration of a duly elected governor.
Amaechi’s love for impunity and unconstitutional acts is the worst in recent Nigerian history. He has continued to destroy the foundations of constitutional democracy because he has effectively used stomach infrastructure to quieten the rather vocal civil society activists and pro democracy journalists.
Pray, why is it that nobody condemns the several illegal acts of Amaechi? Instead, the civil society activists and pro democracy journalists look for scape goats to blame and unsuccessfully play the Ostrich.
How can one explain the fact that on April 11 civil society activists and journalists were in company of Amaechi when he violated the electoral guidelines. He drove into an INEC distribution centre and willfully destroyed sensitive election materials for two wards in Obio/Akpor LGA. Elections for these two wards held on April 12.
These same activists were in company of Amaechi as he violated all known rules moving from one polling unit to the other with over 50 security agents intimidating voters. Rather than condemn these illegal acts, they claimed he was monitoring elections. Like Jega said in his interaction with civil society situation room, Amaechi who is one of the petitioners against the April 11 governorship election in Rivers State, never wanted the election to hold.
After Amaechi’s failure to procure a black market injunction to stop the inauguration of Barrister Wike on May 29, the Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke laid to rest the unfortunate crisis that Amaechi and his undemocratic colleagues are sponsoring.
The AGF requested the Chief Judge of Bayelsa State to swear in Rivers State governor-elect, Barrister Wike in line with constitutional requirement.
He said that Section 185 (2) of the Constitution provides that “the Oath of Allegiance and the Oath of Office shall be administered by the Chief Judge of the state or Grand Khadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal of the state, if any, or President of the Customary Court of Appeal of the state, if any, or the person for the time being respectively appointed to exercise the functions of any of those offices in any state.
“The general public, particularly the government and people of Rivers State, are hereby invited to take note of this development and appreciate the fact that the invitation extended to the Chief Judge of Bayelsa State to administer the Oath of Allegiance and Oath of Office on the Governor-elect of Rivers State on May 29, 2015 is in accordance with the Constitution and should therefore be respected by all and sundry,” Adoke added.
Democracy has come to stay in Nigeria and Rivers State. The antics of Amaechi and the beneficiaries of his deep pocket cannot truncate democracy no matter how hard they try.
Like President Jonathan told the 47th Ordinary Session of ECOWAS in Ghana at his last engagement with them: “In 10 days time, precisely on the 29th of this month, my successor, president-elect, Gen Muhammadu Buhari, will assume the mantle of leadership of my country. I feel deeply satisfied that the tree of democracy planted in my country and in our sub-region has taken roots and is blossoming. I have no doubt whatsoever, that under the watchful guidance and nurturing of Your Excellencies, that tree will continue to bear abundant fruits.”
If President Jonathan who lost his re-election bid would be charitable to always work for democracy, why would Amaechi prefer to always sponsor his anti-democratic mob to create crisis in Rivers State.
Of course, Amaechi has a number of paid propaganda merchants who launder his image. But Rivers State is the only state where an outgoing governor is leaving behind tales of woes for the judiciary and legislative arms of government. Of the 36 states of the federation, no other is in this mess. For a man who willfully destroyed the foundation of democracy to be riding on the wings of propaganda tells a lot about the values of the guys who survive on the profession of pro-democracy activism.
Thankfully, democracy has prevailed over Amaechi once again. His undemocratic plots have come to naught. Barrister Wike will be sworn in on May 29 to rebuild the foundation of democracy in Rivers State. This will be a new beginning as the state has had no democratic credentials under Amaechi.
Nwakaudu wrote in from Port Harcourt